When struggling with addictions and mental health issues, one of our common habits that actually contributes to our difficulties is being too hard on ourselves. We criticize ourselves overly harshly. We speak and think about ourselves in disparaging ways. We beat ourselves up, mentally, emotionally and physically. We can be self-destructive and even self-harming as a result. One of the most important things we can learn as part of our recovery is how to be less hard on ourselves.
Many of us strive to prove ourselves, to others, to ourselves, to the outside world. We seek perfection but because it is unattainable, when we come up short, we see it as a failure on our part. We desperately want to prove that we are worthy and deserving, of love, praise, attention, validation. Deep down we feel inadequate, and we feel the need to push ourselves harder and further to compensate for our insecurity. We are unreasonably hard on ourselves. We focus our energy on our shortcomings and weaknesses, rather than on our gifts and strengths. We refuse to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, which we see as failures rather than as opportunities for growth. We demoralize ourselves, we lose faith in ourselves, and we give up on ourselves.
Changing this destructive habit of ours requires that we shift our perspective. We might be better served striving for progress rather than perfection, seeing each part of our journey as getting us one step closer to reaching our goals. Our mistakes are how we learn. They’re an important part of our learning, growth and evolution. We make more progress when we welcome all the lessons we could learn from our mistakes and apply them to our work. We could start to see our weaknesses as part of what makes us who we are, special and unique. They add to our story and to our overall character, rather than detracting from them. When we can learn from them, they add to our strength.
Everything we once criticized about ourselves we could use as motivation to try harder. We could use what we perceive to be mistakes, failures, shortcomings and weaknesses as the driving force to work more diligently towards our goals. Changing our perspective in this way invites us to have more compassion and forgiveness for ourselves, and to have more patience with our process.
We provide holistic and integrated treatment programs to help you work through some of these issues. Call (575) 613-4810 for more information.